What To Do If You Suspect Autism
Firstly, do not blame yourself or your parenting skills. Its still researched and debated what the factors are that create autism in children. But it has nothing to do with how good or fit of a parent you are to your child.
Secondly, you will want to seek the advice of a medical professional in confirming your suspicions by booking an appointment at a development assessment center. For example, in the state of Texas, parents can book development assessment appointments online to confirm an autism diagnosis. Make a list of the various differences you notice in your child that you consider abnormal so that you dont miss anything that could help a potential diagnosis.
As previously mentioned, early intervention is key in helping your child develop coping skills for their autism as well as help your family establish an environment that will support your child. Sometimes as well depending on the severity of symptoms, intervention can possibly even reverse some habits and let them live a normal life.
Whichever the case, bringing abnormal behavior to your doctors attention is key for any suspected illness. Its better to be overly cautious and ask as many questions as possible than take a wait and see approach and potentially miss intervening early.
Telling Your Child They Have Autism
Guest Writer: Karen Kaizuka, parent
Fear. That is the overwhelming feeling that rushes through me when I think about telling my son that he has autism. What do you say? How do you say it? Can we just not tell him?!!
Our little guy is 6. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 4. He is doing remarkably well. He is learning how to read. In fact, he is reading absolutely everything around him and is asking what words mean. We cant drive down the road without him reading signs, No Parking, Bridge Closed.
Every time we drive past the mall, he says, JCPenneys. One day he said, Mom, what is JCPenneys? I responded, Its a department store. The next time we drove by he said, JCPenneys. A department store. He then asked, Why is it called JCPenneys? I had no clue, so I quickly turned to Wikipedia for the facts.
Hes come such a long ways from a few years ago when he had lost most of his speech. I never thought that he would be able to answer a question. How many times did we act out skits about how one person asks the question, then the other person answers the question? No matter what, he would always answer the question, What is your name? with, What is your name? Now to have him inquisitive and asking questions is a dream come true!
We asked our Clinical Director, Felice Orlich, for some guidance on telling your child he/she has autism and here is what she had to say:
How Do I Know If My Baby Or My Child Is Autistic
If you are here reading this blog, it is not the first time you have asked that question to yourself. Yes, we are aware that parenting comes with a necessity to protect your child or children from the world. It is important that you are here because it means that you are a concerned parent seeing specific behaviors that are calling your attention.
Please remember that every child is different and will develop at their own pace. Not reaching milestones as expected is not always a sign of Autism. There are several signs that need to be met to be diagnosed with Autism by a professional. However, if you are concerned and still want to learn some behaviors to keep an eye on, keep reading.
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Early Signs Of Autism In Babies
Learn about the signs and symptoms of autism in babies from 0 to 12 months.
Watching your baby grow is an unforgettable experience. But while every child develops at her own level, failing to reach certain milestones could raise red flags. Some parents recognize signs of autism spectrum disorder when their baby is around 6-12 months and maybe even earlier, says Thomas Frazier, PhD, a clinical psychologist, autism researcher, and chief science officer of Autism Speaks. Here are the early signs of autism in babies, and why prompt diagnosis is key to treating the condition.
What Are The Signs Of Autism In Toddlers
Toddlers with autism generally exhibit a progression of the symptoms expressed during infancy. Autistic toddlers may express frustration via tantrums or outbursts.
Diagnosing autism in toddler boys is markedly more common than in girls. Boys aged two to four often begin to show symptoms associated with autism such as:
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One Common Day At Eic
In each centre daily there are several practices. In the early morning, children with their moms sit together in a circle to practice a special yoga session: each mother take care of movements of her own child. This means that for many kids a lot of movements are painful and not easy to be done, but moms are there, all together, in a special energy of interaction and acceptance, to help their children to move and act in the more freely way possible.
Speech And Language Difficulties May Present Themselves During Early Stages Of Language Development
Children with ASD may have a hard time speaking and communicating at the expected level for their age.
Even during infancy, you might notice that your child does not babble or coo in response when you talk and attempt to interact. By their first birthday, most toddlers can speak a word or two, but children on the spectrum often dont learn to speak until much later.
Sometimes, children with ASD babble and coo in the first few months of life, and then cease to communicate altogether. In these cases, all forms of verbal communication and normal language development and experimentation with speech abruptly stop. This can be disconcerting for parents and is often a sign that its time to investigate further by seeking professional help.
Even in cases where autistic children do speak and demonstrate pretty typical signs of normal language development, they often repeat unrelated words and phrases over and over and, in essence, speak without really communicating or conveying a feeling, thought or desire.
Early intervention is key to helping autistic children learn to communicate, whether it is through spoken language, or in more extreme cases, through sign language or even an alternative augmentative communication device.
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Sensory Stimuli May Result In An Overreaction Or No Reaction At All
Many autistic individuals have trouble processing sensory information and can become easily overwhelmed, even on an outing to a restaurant or grocery store. Sights, sounds and movements, even tastes and smells, can all be overwhelming to the autistic child, especially in combination with one another.
This may present itself as one of two extremes: you may notice either an observable overreaction or an under-reaction to stimuli.
In the case of an overreaction, an autistic child may flinch away from touch, even something as gentle and unthreatening as a pat on the head or a touch on the arm. Others may throw a fit when getting dressed because the tactile sensation of the clothing creates a feeling of anxiety.
Some children with hypersensitivity to noise and other stimuli may react in the opposite waythey may show no response at all to sounds and visual stimuli, even things that would usually startle or surprise a child. This might strike you as so unusual that it causes you to wonder if your child is having difficulty hearing. An autistic child may also have no reaction to sensory stimuli that would ordinarily be fun, curious and exiting, something that can be just as disconcerting for a concerned parent.
ABA therapy can do wonders for sensory processing disorders, which are often a part of ASD, but also may affect neurotypical children.
When Can My Child Be Diagnosed With Autism
According to the Center for Disease Control , an autism diagnosis can be appropriately given at 18 months of age or sooner. Doctors screen for autism spectrum disorders at the nine-month, 18 month, 2-year, and 3-year wellness checkups. Many children with autism do not receive an official diagnosis until they reach the age of two or three. It is often after the child has started school. This is when the childs challenges in social skills become obvious. It is never too late to get a diagnosis and begin identifying resources to help make life with autism easier.
The earlier a child gets a diagnosis , the sooner the child can start therapy or treatment.
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Autism Signs By 3 Months
- She doesn’t follow moving objects with her eyes: Babies at high risk for autism dont follow caregivers as they move in the visual field, says Dr. Frazier. They may be more intrigued by something like a blanket.
- She doesn’t respond to loud noises.
She doesn’t grasp and hold objects.
She doesn’t pay attention to new faces
How Do You Know If Your Child Has Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD can be hard to diagnose. Theres no medical test, like a blood test, to check for ASD. No two children with ASD have the exact same signs or symptoms. Providers diagnose ASD by looking at your childs behavior and development.
Children with ASD usually show signs or symptoms when theyre 12 to 24 months old, but some may have them earlier or later. Some children with ASD develop normally until theyre around 18 to 24 months old, but then they stop gaining new skills or lose the skills they once had. This is called regression.
Babies may show signs of ASD before their first birthday if they have severe developmental delays. Developmental delays are when your child doesnt reach developmental milestones when expected. A developmental milestone is a skill or activity that most children can do at a certain age. Milestones include sitting, walking, talking, having social skills and having thinking skills.
Tell your babys health care provider if she isnt meeting her milestones. Its not unusual for a healthy baby to fall behind in some areas or move ahead in others. But babies who dont meet these milestones need their development checked more closely by a provider:
- Babbling by 12 months
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Loss Of Language Or Social Skills
Children with autism may seem unwilling to speak or verbalize even though they used to do so. For example, a baby who used to babble or make nonsense noises might stop as he gets older. Children with autism may also withdraw from social situations even though they used to seem comfortable playing with or around other kids, according to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
What Are The Signs Of Asd In Babies
Diagnosing ASD is challenging. One reason for this is that the condition presents differently in all individuals.
Babies can reach developmental milestones at slightly different ages, even when they do not have any health conditions. However, some developmental differences indicate that a baby may be autistic. These include:
About Early Diagnosis Of Autism
Because of the nature of autism, it isnt easy to spot in young children. This is because in some cases, children may appear to be developing typically only to regressor lose some of their developmental skillsas they grow older.
In the same fashion, some babies will actually struggle to meet their expected developmental milestones and then suddenly catch up to what is typical for their age.
Thus many doctors wait until children reach 24 months before they will make a definitive diagnosis of autism.
This doesnt mean that infants cannot be screened for developmental delays, however. According to Autism Speaks, some symptoms of autism can be detected as young as 6 months of age, and this advocacy organization encourages parents to be on the lookout for any troubling symptoms in their children.
Here are some tips on how to spot autism in your infant, starting when they are 3 months old.
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Social Signs Of Autism In Children
One of the biggest autism stereotypes is that were anti-social. But what in the world does that even mean?
A lot of autistics I know are very social, we just tend to socialize differently than neurotypical people do.
There are definitely some social signs of autism in children that parents can watch for, so Ive outlined a few of them below.
First, autistic children may struggle to relate to people outside of their close family.
It takes us a while to connect with new people, so were often most ourselves with close family.
Autistic children also may not play with other children as you might typically expect.
Autistics tend to prefer parallel play where they play near other children without directly interacting.
Your child may also seem like they are in their own world a lot of the time.
Maybe they dont respond when called or seem to zone out.
One of the biggest signs for my son, A-Man, was that he played with the exact same toys in the exact same way every time.
He liked his routine and playing in a way he knew that he enjoyed helped him to feel safe and in control.
You may also notice that your child prefers to play alone, rather than with peers.
Autistic children tend to be very specific in their play, and adding in other children adds a lot of uncontrollable variables.
Which brings me to my final social sign of autism
Autistic children may have extremely strict rules to follow during play.
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What Should I Do If I Think My Child Might Have Early Signs Of Autism
If your child has exhibited early signs of autism, talk to your pediatrician. He or she can use a standardized screening tool to determine if your child has autism or is at risk.
While there is no cure for autism, early intervention can make a big difference. Behavioral therapies can help kids develop social and language skills, for example, and medications can treat impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.
If you havent spotted any of these symptoms but are still worried your child has autism, try not to let your fears get in the way of enjoying your time with your son. Pay attention to his behavior patterns , and ask questions of your pediatrician. Chances are he’s just fine!
Rarely Responds To Their Name Of Other Bids
Babies are tuned to listen to your voice when you call their name, they respond by looking toward you.
Babies readily respond to other social bids, like:
- come here with your arms reaching out
- wave bye-bye as youre leaving
- touch your nose
- or look where youre pointing
Some children with autism dont respond by looking where youre pointing but instead look at your hand.
If your baby rarely responds to their name or other bids for social interaction, this can be an early sign of autism.
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What To Do Next
If you are noticing your childs behavior and it falls under the list above, it is time to take action. The first thing to do is to talk to a doctor, a pediatrician, or a specialist. Keep in mind that there is no medical test to diagnose Autism such as covid or diabetes. A diagnosis is performed through interviews, evaluations, and observation such as speech evaluation or Autism Diagnostic Interview, or ADI-R.
How To Help Your Child After An Autism Diagnosis
There are many things you can do to help a child with autism spectrum disorder. Start by ensuring their treatment plan is tailored according to their individual needs and work closely with the therapists, teachers and doctors involved to make sure you are following through with the therapy at home and school. It is also important to provide children with autism with a sense of structure in their lives. Create a detailed routine for your child and stick with it. You can also create consistency at home by reinforcing things the child may have learned in other settings and using positive reinforcement to reward good behavior.
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How To Test A Child For Autism
You may ask your childs healthcare provider to periodically check your child for signs of autism with a developmental screening test. A screening test alone will not result in a diagnosis but can indicate if your child should see a specialist. A developmental pediatrician, child psychologist or psychiatrist, pediatric neurologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or other specialist can conduct a formal developmental evaluation.
How Signs Of Autism In Girls Differ To Boys
Early signs of autism are sometimes clearer in boys than in girls. According to child behavior specialists at the Cleveland Clinic located in Ohio, only one in three children diagnosed with autism is female. Only one girl to every nine boys is diagnosed with high functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome. Young children might be misdiagnosed as having social communication disorders or developmental disorders.
A study of 300 girls by the Cleveland Clinic suggests autistic females are less likely to exhibit classically male symptoms. These include restricted interests, difficulties in social situations, episodes of intense aggravation, and self-harm.
These girls are often labeled as having developmental delays, but without the diagnosis of autism, their access to resources and care become limited. The Cleveland Clinic recommends being proactive and seeing your pediatrician if you notice any signs your daughter might be autistic, especially if she is in between regular medical check-ups.
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